Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka
Robert Woolsey is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.
This is not your grandfather’s shop class. Late last month a group of high school and college shop teachers and a few of their students gathered for a three-day workshop in Sitka’s state-of-the-art Design and Fabrication Lab. The use of 3D printers and other computer-controlled equipment has revolutionized shop, and turned one of the most remote classrooms in the building into the coolest place in school.
The 2014 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is over. The 48 permit holders caught the last remaining fish in this year’s harvest limit – and then some – in a wild 45-minute opener Saturday afternoon right in front of downtown Sitka.
Manufacturing – like everything else – is becoming more computerized, but instead of replacing craftsmanship, digital technology is opening up possibilities for students to create things in ways that simply weren’t practical five or ten years ago. Three kids at Sitka High School are building a tool – really just a customized piece of metal – to do an unsung, but important, job in the community. And their collaboration points toward a future where we’ll make stuff differently.
Brown bears are one of the most intensively-studied species in Southeast Alaska. Much of the focus is on population management for hunting. But one scientist studies bears for their sake and not ours. Tania Lewis is the terrestrial wildlife biologist at Glacier Bay National Park. She’s made some breakthroughs in both behavior and genetics, and she can’t help but sing about it.
A Sitka educator has won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science. Rebecca Himschoot teaches science at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary. She’s one of two Alaskan teachers honored by the White House this year, and one of only 102 teachers nationwide who receive the recognition, which includes a $10,000 cash prize from the National Science Foundation. Amy Laufer, a math teacher at Kasuun Elementary in Anchorage, also won the award.
Moorage rates in Sitka’s harbors are going up next week. The Sitka assembly last night approved the rate hike on second reading, bumping the per-foot monthly charge for permanent berths from $2.64 to $2.80, an increase of a little over 6 percent effective New Year’s Day.
Two Sitka hunters sustained serious injuries Tuesday evening, after their boat struck a cliff in Kakul Narrows, about 25 miles north of town. Both men have been hospitalized, one in Seattle.
Several organizations around the state have recently asked Governor Parnell to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, including the Anchorage NAACP, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Chamber.
A Sitka seafood processor has recalled two-year’s worth of product, after a state inspection revealed that monitoring equipment had failed.
The domestic violence shelter in Sitka is stepping up its community training program following the release of new survey data last year. SAFV, or Sitkans Against Family Violence, has routinely offered volunteer advocate training, but now the organization is hoping to involve more of the community in how to recognize – and address – Sitka’s incredibly high rate of intimate partner violence.
Some rainfall over the weekend may have eased a looming crisis for pink salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska. The summer’s fine weather and record salmon runs have both made headlines – but they’re a recipe for trouble without enough water in rivers and streams for fish to spawn.
One of the most rapid and successful invasions of a continent did not happen in any war. It’s happening now – maybe right outside your window. The Eurasian collared dove first came to North America in Florida in 1982, and was seen in Alaska as early as 2009. Experts say the dove represents no threat to the environment or native species. But it is changing how Alaska sounds.
The U.S. Forest Service believes fish populations in Redoubt Lake near Sitka survived last month’s devastating landslide unharmed.
Two people are safe after a massive landslide destroyed the cabin they were camping in Sunday morning near Sitka. An air taxi pilot rescued the pair from a debris field estimated to be 20 feet deep. All their belongings were buried in the slide. Their dog remains missing.
A local legislative race in Alaska has caught the attention of national media, and is being held up as model for political change elsewhere in the country.